So like less than like a week ago, there was a big controversy about the critic aggregation site/YouTube channel Channel Awesome…a bunch of ex-contributors/employees listing grievances against the channel/site in a 70+ page Google document that was passed around the Internet. Channel Awesome had initially posted a “non-apology” that seemed to upset people even more…and apparently yesterday night they published a longer “statement” which is like…bananas.
Bananas, totally awful, bad, victim-blaming, and ill-advised—ignoring some of the claims from the original “Not So Awesome” document entirely, and choosing instead to strangely focus largely on just the females making claims.
And it seems to me the strategy here on the part of Channel Awesome is to sort of cast this entire “Not So Awesome” document as a feminist/SJW thing, hoping to maybe start a counter-backlash. So they focus on women like their former HR person Holly and Obscurus Lupa, and then a guy like Linkara—who had his own healthy list of accusations—they sort of ignore.
Mind you, the management of Channel Awesome has already been accused of misogyny and treating their female contributors/employees harsher than the males. So I took one look at this half-assed “response” and I was like:
And allegedly in the process of defending themselves…they sort of “outed” a person accused by a “Jane Doe” in the document of some type of sexual “grooming” and malfeasance. And that’s far as I’m gonna touch that one, because the full circumstances, when taken in context & if they are true, are some SERIOUSLY fucked-up shit that just made this entire thing 150% more fucked up! (Because basically…via other accusations…now this potentially turns into a sexual assault/predator thing that might have been covered up within the community which is just…)
Even if you’re on Channel Awesome’s side on this, you have to admit this “response” is only pouring gasoline on already flaming gasoline. This is a response fueled by ego, not by what is in the best interests of the company.
What a fucking shit-show.
Soon after their statement was posted, one of their last high-profile contributors, AngryJoe, quit; apparently followed by anime reviewer MasakoX. As of this writing, Channel Awesome is down to like under 10 contributors.
Here is their contributor list, circa April 2015:
One of the elephants in the room here is that this video aggregator model no longer works like it did years ago when Channel Awesome was in its heyday. In some ways, A Channel Awesome that continued to focus on that model was irrelevant anyway…
But the crucial mistake for CA is that while the Nostalgia Critic was the “star,” in a sense, of the site…his “brand,” and the brand of CA, was built on this camaraderie between them and all these different contributors. Watching CA essentially give these contributors the “fuck you” KILLS this brand.
I could go on forever on this topic, but I won’t. There is this whole “era” of “geek culture” from the last decade or so that is currently imploding…note “King of Kong” Donkey Kong champion Billy Mitchell getting stripped of his title/scores today as well.
I’m not saying a culture surrounding beloved sci-fi/video-game/comics/anime pop-culture icons is “dead”…I’m saying, rather, that a very specific era of that culture, that operated around 2007 to the present, is imploding in a very harsh way. And part of that is because of poor business management; part of this is because stuff that was “okay” (you know…like SEXUAL ASSAULT) back then, is not OK now; and part of that is because the era is simply MOVING ON. Time is moving on.
I’m just waiting for more shoes to drop. They have been dropping since September of last year, and they’re gonna keep going.
Because a lot of bad, bad stuff in this larger geek community has gone down over the past decade.